I Really Miss Manchester. Past Review

By (Literature, SUNY Purchase) for

University of Manchester: Manchester - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Future plans: go back, and travel more.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Seemingly light workload, with no major papers or assignments due until the end of the term, but tons of reading and researching, which was made effective and interesting in thorough classroom discussion rather than lengthy lectures. For each literature class, lectures were one hour long, taking place in a large lecture hall. Directly following the lectures were "seminars", smaller groups of students with either the lecturer or another professor who had sat in on the lecture leading the discussion. Grades in the UK are very different from that in the States in that no undergrad will ever get higher than an 80 percent--an 80 is equivelent (unofficially) to a 100, and marks are called either a First (the highest) Second, or Third (fail).

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Strengths: the welcome and orientation process was excellent and informative, but for the remainder of the term, it seemed almost useless to get in touch with advisors for issues due to the huge size of the programs and the limited amount of help in the offices.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Living in Manchester's Levenshulme neighborhood was not ideal in terms of its proximity to the university, but the long walks and bus rides to city centre were an integral part of my getting to the know the city better. Levenshulme is a predominantly Pakistani neighborhood, which further increased my cultural awareness and understanding of the UK, the US, and beyond. Our apartment was not equipped with any cookware, plates, cutlery, sheets, or blankets, etc., so it was our responsiblity to furnish the kitchen and our bedrooms with these things. With 5 girls the cost was not so high, and the house itself was very spacious and cozy, aside from a few minor repair issues (the ceiling in the kitchen collapsed).

* Food:

Eat on Curry Mile as much as you can afford. And frequent the Oxford Pub. And have a pasty.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The International Society is an AMAZING resource for meeting people from hundreds of other countries, travel groups and tours, and social events. Manchester itself has an incredibly flourishing nightlife for any kind of person: quiet pub? football pub? sweaty dance club? not that sweaty dance club? gay club? amazing bar with amazing bands playing constantly? fancy lounge club? jazz club? salsa dancing club? all with in walking distance? I could go on and on...

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Train international students in the UK how to cross streets so that they constantly remind themselves which way traffic is coming. And be more transparent about which neighborhoods to avoid.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Direct Enrollment

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Manchester
* What could be improved?
  • Students should be encouraged to contact landlords BEFORE arrival, to avoid being homeless for the first 3 weeks.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Travel around the UK as much as possible--each city is so different from the others, you'll be shocked by how diverse such a small country can truly be.